Saanganer, the home of Saanganer Block Printing may be a town/ Tehsil (an administrative division) situated in Jaipur district, Rajasthan, 16 km south of capital Jaipur. Bagru is a palace in Rajasthan famous for Bagru Block Printing.
Both places are famous for textile printing, the handmade paper industry, and Jain temples.
Saanganer prints are one of their own kind, for the reason that patterns in bright colors are always printed on white backgrounds.
Saanganer Block printing history
The history of the Saanganeri prints is around 500 years old. The origin of those prints came over during the 16th and 17th centuries.
The constant wars between the Mughals and Marathas caused several craftsmen to migrate from Gujarat to Rajasthan. This craft ultimately found its haven in Saanganer, where it’s been thriving ever since.
And by the top of the 18th century, Saanganer was a well-established production house of those block printing textiles.
It became one among the main export items for the Malay Archipelago Company, and its trademark was the first dye used for printing designs.
This dye soon became a matter of significance in European culture also .
The Saanganeri prints are widely known for their delicate and fine designs.
Originally, Saanganeri prints wont to be created on white and off-white fabrics. However, nowadays, other fabrics also are getting used as bases.
The prints of Saanganer comprise delicate floral patterns. These flower motifs are generally known as ‘Buttas’. The elaborate detailing of the flowers and therefore the petals is extremely exclusive to the Saanganeri prints.
Today, the textile market of Saanganer is legendary around India and therefore the world for its unique blend of traditional and traditional sorts of printing.
Faces behind the Print
The dyers originally came from Punjab and Sindh and belonged to a community referred to as the ‘chippa‘ community. The majority of them are Muslims.
The most interesting fact is that the whole family, including children, become involved within the process. Today, nearly 3000 people are employed in practicing this craft on knowledgeable level.
Saanganer Block Printing
According to the 2008 census, 152 block carving units exist in Saanganer. Very special and interesting terminology is employed in these units, words that one doesn’t find in everyday language.
It seems that the printers have developed their own language, which is vital to know , to be ready to work with them.
A block maker or a carpenter who focuses on block making is named “Bhatt-ghar“- in Rajasthan. Here Bhatt implies block and the ghar implies the carver.
The block printers of Saanganer get most of their blocks made in Purani Basti in Jaipur. Those blocks that require some special technical input are usually sent to Farukhabaad, Sitapur, Meerut or Pilakuan in UP or Pethapur in Gujarat.
Motifs of Saanganer Block Printing
Finesse in flowers-petal designs, curves, and delicacy are the prime specialties of Saanganer prints. The curvature of flowers in the ’bootas’ is generally shown on the right side.
Different types of floral patterns are displayed within the sort of a ‘bel’ (a border), during a stylized manner.
Some of the flowers utilized in the prints are roses, rosettes, lotuses, lotus bud, sunflower, lily, ‘champa’ ‘canna’ ‘nergis’, marigold etc. Various other flower creations also are found in old Saanganeri prints.
Other flowers used are locally known as ‘sosan’, ‘gainda’, ‘gulmehendi’, ‘javakusum’, ‘guldaudi’, ‘kachnar’, ‘jatadari lily’, ‘kaner’, ‘kanna’, ‘gullalla’, ‘Sosan’ and ‘gullala’ prints are probably very suitable to Saanganeri style of printing, therefore they are used in various forms.
Nuances of Saanganeri Block printing
In ‘booties’, generally, just one sort of flower-petal and bud creations is found; for example: ‘Badaam, (almond)’, ‘Paan’ (beetle leaf), ‘mukut of ‘kalanga’.
While printing a sari, if the ‘booti’ is of ‘sosan’ flower then the ‘bel’ also will be of ‘sosan’ flower and an enormous ’boota’ of an equivalent flower is usually done on the ‘Pallav’ (the decorative fringe of the sari, which is displayed by the ladies , and left hanging from the shoulders ). Hence, for printing one sari, a large number of blocks need to be made.
By printing different booties together, the Saanganeri ‘Cheepas’ have portrayed excellent know-how.
Sometimes more than three flowers are fitted beautifully in a single ‘booti’ e.g. in ‘Latkan booti’ banana tree, sosan tree and saro tree collection is assembled beautifully in one pattern.
The designs are named according to the flowers or plant pattern, from which the designs were originally inspired.
Many flowers utilized in Saanganeri prints don’t originate from Rajasthan. In spite of those circumstances, however, there seems every reason to believe that the craft has been handed down for hundreds of years and has come to be utilized in all the purity of original inspiration.
Nature, feeling and color reciprocity, as also the technique in printing are all perfect while the absence of machine regularity gives a charm that places these goods above and beyond anything as yet accomplished in Europe.”
Apart from flowers, fruit trees of banana, dates, grapes pomegranate, etc. have also been recreated in a very attractive manner. In some old prints, figures of parrots and fish are also seen. For about fifty years, elephant. Horse, camel, peacock, and human figures also are used. These are mostly seen on curtains, bedcovers, table cloths, etc.
What is Bagru block printing?
Bagru printing is one among the normal techniques of printing with natural color followed by the chippas of a place of Rajasthan. The process starts from preparing the material to finished printed fabrics through their indigenous methods.
‘Bagru’ print is that sort of centuries-old traditional art of hand block printing still alive. In the interior of the desert state of Rajasthan, at a distance of 30–35 km from Jaipur, on Jaipur — Ajmer road there lies a small typical village called ‘Bagru’ having a population of around 22,089 with male 52% and female 48%.
The village town isn’t popular for any palace or fort except for keeping alive the three-centuries-old tradition of printing with the luxurious efforts of artisans.
History of Bagru Block Printing.
However, it’s estimated that this kind was introduced 450 years back when a community of Chhipas (literally meaning people that stamp or print) came to Bagru from Sawai Madhopur (Alwar) and settled in Bagru.
The Chippas community settled along the riverside, like all other nomadic settlement. The bank of the river provided them with clay which is an important ingredient in getting the base color of the famed ‘Bagru’ prints.
Bagru is that the place of Raiger and Chhipa community. Chhipas are involved in fabric printing tradition for over 100 years.
It is unique for its indigenous sort of printing using natural colors with wooden blocks referred to as ‘Bagru printing’.
Motifs of Bagru Block Printing
The historical progress of the motifs of Bagru is difficult to know . These are mostly derived from the flora and fauna and are natural in origin.
A Comparative study of the evolution and layout of motifs clearly reveals a change from old tradition and style. Initially, the prints were primarily floral and vegetative. After the Persian influence they became more geometrical, for instance , one often finds a central round, then motifs are placed around it.
The motifs of Bagru could also be classified into five types:
1. Motifs of flowers and birds: These are often found in the stem or in the central motives which helps to balance the floral arrangement.
2. Motifs of inter-twisted tendrils: These are motifs of flowers comprising of spiraled or inter-twisted stems, with flowers, leaves, or birds present on the same. These are used as ‘bels’.
3. Motifs of trellis designs: These are mainly the ‘Jaal’ intricate grid (connecting designs), which were formulated under the Persian influence.
4. Motifs of figurative designs: These are an animal, bird, and human motifs, e.g., ‘hiran’ (deer), mayur’ (peacock), ‘sua’ (parrot).
5. Motifs of geometrical designs: These are geometrical in shapes, e.g. ‘Leheriya’ (wave), ‘chaupad’ (check), ‘kanguras’ (triangular), ‘chatais’ (woven) pattern, etc.
Difference between Saanganeri and Bagru style of Block printing
The main distinguishing feature between Saanganer and Bagru printing is that Saanganer print is typically done on a white ground. Whereas Bagru prints are printed on an Indigo or a dyed background.
Local water also has its effects. In the water of Saanganer, the results of block printing are very rich dark reminder color. Bagru on the opposite hand finds a reddish tinge within the block printed textiles. Colour combinations and motifs help differentiate one block-printing style from another.
Traditionally, motifs printed at Bagru are large with bold lines, as compared to Saanganer, where somber colors and fine lines, intricate detailing are practiced. Saanganeri motifs are supported nature, while the motifs of Bagru are more often geometric.